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Getting surveys off of phone

06-17-2017 07:33 PM
New Contributor


I'm trying to get my survey 123 surveys off of my phone. I started conducting surveys, and then someone in the office changed the survey slightly (a few fields switched from integer to decimal inputs). Now when I go to send them it just sits on the "Getting Service Information" loading screen forever. I read after the fact that this can happen when you change the survey, and there's a work around where you can download a .sqlite file off of your device, but my device doesn't show a .sqlite file or an ArcGis folder on it at all (I have an iPhone 5). 

Is there anyway to get the surveys off? I really don't want to have to delete the survey so I can download the new one as it will cause me to lose all the data I've collected so far.

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7 Replies
Occasional Contributor II

Hi Dugan,

This can be done, although it's a little difficult, especially given the re-categorization of some fields. Check this page of Survey123's documentation for more information: Troubleshoot—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS 

New Contributor

Hi Mitchell,

Yes, I saw this already, but I don't see any .sqlite files on my device (or any ArcGIS folders for that matter). Just photos. Are these instructions for android? Is there a trick to getting the files off of an iphone?

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Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Dugan 

For reference - I have included the steps that you have requested. However the error message described could have a number of causes, including permissions or expired user credential issues. I would recommend taking a look at your logs too:  Troubleshoot—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGISFeel free to send them through to


Getting Surveys off the Device

For Apple devices you will need to use to access the database through ITunes. However, ITunes will only let you see the ArcGIS folder and you will be unable to browse lower into the folder tree.


1) Tether the device to a desktop machine.

2) In iTunes, select the device and then click apps. Scroll down the page, until you get to File Sharing and Apps:


3) Click on Survey123 and then select the ArcGIS folder

4) Click Save To, and choose a location on your machine.

5) Open this new folder (which will be called ArcGIS) and navigate to My Surveys => Databases. The database will be in the databases directory with a .sqlite extension.

6)  You can then open .sqlite database in a database editor. An example editor is DB Browser for SQLite.

New Contributor

Thanks Johnathan!

I now have the .sqlite file and I've managed to load it in the DB Browser, but I'm getting tripped up on step #5 of the troubleshooter Troubleshoot—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS  What does the /sdcard string represent? Am I supposed to replace that with the name of an empty folder for the files to be extracted to? And where is the "C:/Users/Me" address meant to be set to? Sorry if these are dumb questions-- I have 0 experience with .sqlite files.

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Esri Regular Contributor

In the help you are referring to a query to update the directory paths, hard-coded in the database:

UPDATE Surveys SET path = REPLACE (path,"/sdcard", "C:/Users/Me") where path LIKE "/sdcard%"

In the query:

  • "/sdcard"  is the original IPhone path for the database. You can find it in the path field.
  •  "C:/Users/Me is the new path you have copied the database to on your desktop machine, and is what we want to update the path field in the s database to.

The idea of the workflow is to re-send the surveys from a desktop version of the Survey123 field app (MacOS or Windows). 

I should highlight that above is only necessary if you have tried the Fix Database tool as per Troubleshoot—Survey123 for ArcGIS | ArcGIS  - and it did not work.

In this case, you would then need to use the query to manually update the paths (this is what the Fix database tool should have done).


However, all of the above may not help you if the issue was a result of a schema change.

This is because you still may not be able to send the surveys from the desktop version of Survey123.

If this is the case you would need to bring the data into ArcGIS for Desktop and append the surveys to your existing data.

I can provide more information on the steps if required.

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New Contributor

What if you are trying to download files from an Android device ? Can you please provide link to those instructions ?

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by Anonymous User
Not applicable

another way is to do as you have done " load it in the DB Browser" then alter the url descriptor contained within the .sqlite files form the old survey and replace with the new url for the current form , then open Survey123 on your desktop

then go to settings in the top right hand corner- the three lines

Click on advance down the bottom

then fix database

this is what I did when I had a similar problem.

The old data from the previous survey was just uploaded into the new survey.

This would only work if the survey is still the relatively the same.

If the new survey is different you will need to recreate the old survey and then do the above

good luck


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